Opposition to fielding a candidate for the post of Vice President

New Delhi: Opposition parties have begun preliminary discussions on zeroing in on the vice-presidential candidate for an election where there are overwhelming numbers against him.

On Wednesday, Nationalist Congress Party patriarch Sharad Pawar held a meeting in Delhi to discuss the progress of opposition presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha’s campaign and hold preliminary discussions on the vice presidential candidate.

The meeting was attended by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and RJD leader A.D. Singh participated.

The Trinamool Congress did not attend the meeting, however, as they too are riding on the idea of ​​fighting the battle.

Voting for the election of the 16th Vice President of India will be held on 6 August and 19 July is the last date for filing nominations. The tenure of present M. Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10.

The arithmetic for the opposition in the Vice-Presidential election is far worse than for the President as the electoral college consists of only Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members. At present, the BJP has 303 members in the Lok Sabha and 92 in the Rajya Sabha and hence can go ahead without the help of allies.

Despite this, the opposition parties are ready for a forceful contest. “We will fight a political and ideological battle,” Mr Yechury said.

In 2017, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the former governor of West Bengal, was her vice-presidential candidate. The Left again wanted Mr. Gandhi to be the opposition’s presidential candidate in 2022, but was left out of the competition.

As per the initial discussions, it has been decided that the candidate will not be from the Congress or any opposition party. “Elections are not always about winning or losing, it is about articulating your vision and presenting an alternative paradigm for the country. This is democracy,” said RJD leader Manoj K. Jha said.

The presidential campaign has not been encouraging for the opposition parties. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which had initially expressed support for Mr Sinha, has backed down. Aam Aadmi Party is yet to express its opinion. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha is also leaning towards NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu.

In a tweet on Wednesday evening, Mr Pawar said, “A meeting of opposition parties was held at my Delhi residence to discuss about the Presidential election. The strategy of the campaign was prepared in this meeting. We all stand firmly without candidate Yashwant Sinha to fight for the issues facing our country.”